Benzinga  Mar 5  Comment 
K•Swiss Inc. (NASDAQ: KSWS) has scheduled a special meeting of stockholders to, among other things, consider and vote on a proposal to adopt and approve the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated January 16, 2013, by and among...
StreetInsider.com  Feb 27  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Earnings/K%E2%80%A2Swiss+Inc.+%28KSWS%29+Posts+Q4+Loss+of+41cShare%3B+Futures+Orders+Up+4.6%25/8136501.html for the full story.
Finance Asia  Jan 18  Comment 
Korea's retailer E.Land World buys the famous US footwear company, best known for its all-leather tennis shoe.
Benzinga  Jan 17  Comment 
The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Thursday January 17, 2013: E.Land World to Acquire K-Swiss for $4.75/Share in Cash The Deal: K-Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) and E.Land World announced Wednesday entry...
StreetInsider.com  Jan 17  Comment 
NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) 60.9% HIGHER; announced that the Company has entered into an agreement to acquire title and excavation rights in properties containing 18.6 million tons of estimated coal reserves for $11.0 million. NewLead...
StreetInsider.com  Jan 17  Comment 
* K-Swiss, Inc. (Nasdaq: KSWS) and E.Land World Ltd. announced today entry into a definitive agreement pursuant to which E.Land World will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of K•Swiss for $4.75 per share in cash, or a total equity...
MarketWatch  Jan 17  Comment 
Sneaker company K Swiss Inc. shares surged 48% to $4.72 on Thursday after South Korean conglomerate E. Land World said it will buy the company's stock for $4.75 a share, or a total equity value of about $170 million. E. Land had 2011 sales of...
MarketWatch  Jan 17  Comment 
K-Swiss Inc. rallied 48% in premarket trades on Thursday after the Van Nuys, Calif., sneaker maker agreed to be purchased by Korean conglomerate E.Land Group in a deal valued at $170 million. K-Swiss shareholders will receive $4.75 a share in...
Benzinga  Jan 17  Comment 
K•Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) and E.Land World Ltd. announced today entry into a definitive agreement pursuant to which E.Land World will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of K•Swiss for $4.75 per share in cash, or a...


K-Swiss (NASDAQ:KSWS) is a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories. Operating through two brands, K-Swiss and Palladium, K-Swiss makes most of its money by selling its products at wholesale rates to large retailers, pro shops, and specialty stores; however, it also sells directly to the consumer through its website. With 2009 revenues of $241 million,[1] K-Swiss is much smaller than major competitors Nike (NKE) and Adidas AG (ADDYY).

Over the past four years, K-Swiss's revenues have fallen by nearly half from its peak of $508.6 million. Part of this is is the result of slowing growth in the U.S. footwear market and stiff competition from Nike and Adidas, which held a combined 57% share of the global market for athletic footwear. Additionally, the global economic slowdown has decreased the global demand for shoes, hurting the company's sales. In 2009, the company's net sales fell by 25%.[1]

Company Overview

K-Swiss manufactures 78% of its footwear in China, 21% in Thailand, and 1% in Taiwan.[2] It generates revenues by selling this footwear, along with a limited line of apparel and accessories, to different types of retailers. Over the past several years, K-Swiss has become an increasingly international company. In 2009 international sales accounted for half of the company's revenue.

Like some other footwear companies, K-Swiss works closely with shoe retailers like Foot Locker (FL). However, no single retailer accounts for more than 10% of the company's sales, giving some protection against consumer risk.

Product Segments[3]

The company groups its products into three main types:

  • Lifestyle (73% of net sales) - categorizes the Classic K-Swiss shoe and its derivatives.
  • Performance (23% of net sales) - handles performance running, as well as tennis and training shoes.
  • Other (4% of net sales) - consists of apparel, accessories, sport sandals and blemished shoes.

K-Swiss Brand

The K-Swiss brand is the profit driver for this company, generating nearly a quarter of the company's revenue. The brand's signature shoe is the K-Swiss Classic, a casual shoe that has had the same basic design since 1966. The brand also competes in the tennis, training, and children's shoes markets. The company also makes footwear under the Palladium brand, which consists of all-terrain footwear. In 2009, the Palladium brand generated 9.8% of the company's revenue.http://www.wikinvest.com/wikinvest/images/buttons/hide.gif

Business Growth

FY 2009 (ended December 31, 2009)[1]

  • Net sales fell 26.5% to $241 million due to a decrease in the volume of footwear sold and a decrease in the average underlying wholesale price per pair.
  • Gross margins decreased 550 bps to 35.8% of net sales. The decrease was attributed to product and geographic mix changes and a general decline in sales price.
  • The company incurred a net loss of $28 million for the year, compared to a gain of $20.9 million in 2008.

Trends and Forces

U.S. footwear market maturing

While K-Swiss's international sales have grown over the past few years, its domestic sales have declined. From 2008 to 2009, domestic sales fell 27%.[1] This can partly be attributed to the maturity of the U.S. footwear industry. Growth of industry sales was at 5% roughly five years ago, but at the turn of the decade growth was hovering near 2%. At the same time, the top three players in the industry (Nike, adidas, and Puma) hold nearly 65% of U.S. market share. Given the maturing footwear market in the U.S. and the superior financial strength of some of the company's competitors, rebuilding domestic sales will be a difficult task. If it is not successful, K-Swiss can choose to refocus its efforts on continuing growth of international sales rather than reclaiming lost market share in the U.S. market -- international sales comprise of 50% of the company's revenue.

Many footwear companies allow their buyers to place orders in advance, and backlogs are any orders set to ship within 6 months. This system allows investors to take a slight peek into the future in terms of the company's sales. For K-Swiss, backlog at the end of 2009 was $80.9 million, a 12.6% decrease from the $92.6 million backlog at the end of 2006. The reason behind the fall was a 6.6% decrease in domestic backlog. Note that backlogs are not always indicative of future sales since buyers can cancel orders at any time without financial penalty.

Global Economic Slowdown Reduces Shoe Demand

The economic downturn spells trouble for shoemakers like K-Swiss. Shoes for the most part are discretionary items that consumers can put off buying when they are trying to save money. This is especially true for price conscious families that have kids. They may make their kids wear an old pair of shoes for couple extra months and/or may choose to switch to a cheaper brand name. This decrease in demand for shoes has negative repercussions for K-Swiss' bottom on line. In 2009, net sales fell 25%.[1]


  • Nike (NKE): Nike competes with K-Swiss in the sports footwear and apparel markets. Nike has a sizable advantage when it comes to economies of scale and financial resources.
  • Adidas AG (ADDYY): The adidas Group competes in the overall sporting goods market. It makes sports footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment. K-Swiss competes with the adidas Group via the group's two brands adidas and Reebok. Like Nike, this company also has big advantages in economics of scale and financial resources compared to K-Swiss.
  • Puma AG: Puma AG is a Germany-based competitor in the sporting goods market, designing and producing sports footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment. It operates through two brands, Puma and Tretorn.
  • Skechers U.S.A. (SKX): Skechers designs, markets, and sells contemporary footwear. It does so under a Skechers brand, as well as 8 other unique brands targeted at specific audiences. Skechers sells its products through traditional retail channels; it also owns over 180 retail stores worldwide.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 KSWS 2009 10-K "Selected Financial Data" pg. 22
  2. KSWS 2009 10-K "Manufacturing" pg. 8
  3. KSWS 2009 10-K "Products" pg. 4-5
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